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S. Graham David (Italy)
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Hangmen Also Die [DVD]
Hangmen Also Die [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hans Heinrich von Twardowski
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: 8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Despite a few flaws superb, 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Hangmen Also Die [DVD] (DVD)
First the flaws: we have to accept the idea that when characters speak English (some UK, some very USA) or there are written signs or posters in the street, they are supposed to be Czech. The action scenes are a bit clumsy, bodies flying here and there far too smoothly. And the moral drama is presented a bit schematically.
Nevertheless, the moral dilemmas, inevitable in resistance against an occupying force (Nazis in Prague), are extremely serious and handled with uncompromising logic. The narrative moves at a brisk pace, the images often evocative of Fritz Lang's expressionist background, and characters portrayed in sufficient depth for the spectator to sympathise with them, or long to see them get their just deserts.


Silent Witness : Complete BBC Series 1 [1996] [DVD]
Silent Witness : Complete BBC Series 1 [1996] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Amanda Burton
Price: 5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A serious and very well crafted product, 21 Mar 2014
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I discovered the series by chance, and then came to wonder why it hadn't received all the acclaim it deserves. The protagonist hits a happy balance between scientific detachment and human compassion, and there's no attempt to step up the tension with extraneous effects (pulsing music, flashes, etc.); in fact, the tension is entirely intrinsic to the plot and action. Extremely delicate issues are addressed (sexual deviation, euthanasia, etc) without over-dramatization or moralistic attitudes. It seems to me far better than most other efforts in the genre (on a par with 'Waking the Dead').


Silent Witness Series 3-4 [DVD]
Silent Witness Series 3-4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Amanda Burton
Price: 7.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Well constructed plots, convincing dialogue, no shying away from the social issues involved, 21 Mar 2014
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I discovered the series by chance, and then came to wonder why it hadn't received all the acclaim it deserves. The protagonist hits a happy balance between scientific detachment and human compassion, and there's no attempt to step up the tension with extraneous effects (pulsing music, flashes, etc.); in fact, the tension is entirely intrinsic to the plot and action. Extremely delicate issues are addressed (sexual deviation, euthanasia, etc) without over-dramatization or moralistic attitudes. It seems to me far better than most other efforts in the genre (on a par with 'Waking the Dead') - a serious and very well crafted product.


Prisoners [DVD]
Prisoners [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hugh Jackman
Price: 6.30

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Teetering along, and howling, 2 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Prisoners [DVD] (DVD)
In view of cast and reviews, disappointing; a thriller should have tight pacing, sustained tension and an internal logic inducing the 'willing suspension of disbelief'', which also means that some of the characters should at least some of the time behave rationally and intelligently. Here the emotions are strong but good sense is decidedly lacking, motivation all too simplistic, pacing erratic, plot at times wildly implausible. I give it three stars because I sat through to the end, but had I known, I wouldn't have bothered.


PD James: The Adam Dalgliesh Chronicles [DVD]
PD James: The Adam Dalgliesh Chronicles [DVD]
Dvd ~ Roy Marsden
Price: 34.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Acting, pacing and settings all highly satisfactory, 26 Jan 2014
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Roy Marsden actually manages to bring Dalgliesh to life, adding a touch of human warmth to the integrity, dignity and stoicism that leave one rather cold. Satisfying transpositions, unhurried without dragging, and even a novel like 'The Black Tower', which doesn't work so well on the page, comes off brilliantly, thanks also to the inspired performance of Martin Jarvis.


Short and Sweet: 101 Very Short Poems
Short and Sweet: 101 Very Short Poems
by Simon Armitage
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better, 26 Jan 2014
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A good idea, but fails to deliver. only one poem per page, although some are single lines, which means jt takes barely an hour to get through the book. but is is the selection that is the real disappointment. there are one or two poems translated into English, so why not include a few classic haikus - short poems par excellence? I would have expected one or two of Ogden Nash's witty squibs, one or two of Pound's haiku-like efforts (so much better than the interminable and indigestible cantos), the emperor Hadrian's epitaph (possibly the greatest epitaph ever, and certainly one of the most moving and goose-pimple inspiring short poems)...........


Glass: The Perfect American [Chrisopher Purves, David Pittsinger, Donald Kaasch] [Opus Arte: OABD7129D] [Blu-ray] [2013]
Glass: The Perfect American [Chrisopher Purves, David Pittsinger, Donald Kaasch] [Opus Arte: OABD7129D] [Blu-ray] [2013]
Dvd ~ Chrisopher Purves
Price: 27.56

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine balance between irony and pathos - reflected superbly in the score, 17 Sep 2013
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The irony is not laid on, but implicit in the situation - the American dream fed on apple pie and popcorn, Mickey and Donald as immortal as Jesus Christ and the Buddha - come up against the grim facts of mortality. The stage setting is a far cry from Disneyland: Walt's hospital bed, isolated on a platform, is more reminiscent of Francis Bacon, the cute Disney creatures evoked with spectral, evanescent outlines. Although the dominant theme is of a life coming to an end, it does not make depressing viewing: the music has the characteristically minimalist rhythmic drive, yet constantly varied, pathos and poignancy mysteriously creeping in.


The Travelling Players (1975) Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Compatible DVD. Starring Eva Kotamanidou, Aliki Georgouli... Written and Directed by Theodoros Angelopoulos.
The Travelling Players (1975) Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Compatible DVD. Starring Eva Kotamanidou, Aliki Georgouli... Written and Directed by Theodoros Angelopoulos.
Offered by Seedhouse-Rare-Movies
Price: 11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A hypnotically compelling film spoiled by slapdash presentation, 22 Jun 2013
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Alas, I can only agree with 'lyricomane', and shoddy is indeed the word for the job they've made of the subtitles. It is only thanks to the paradoxically compelling power of the bleak images, dominated by pale, washed-out greys, blues and greens that I got to the end of the film (where the closing words that might have clinched the whole matter as far as I know are not subtitled). It's hard to understand how such a potentially boring film is so enthralling; perhaps it has to do with the fact that the director eschews emphasis, effects and the standard devices to grip the audience: simply, we seem to be there, with the curiosity of the direct observer.


Mad Men Season 5 [DVD]
Mad Men Season 5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jon Hamm
Price: 15.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superbly accomplished series, 10 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Mad Men Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
Astonishingly, Season 5 if anything surpasses the earlier seasons. There's no slack here, nor any gratuitous hotting up: the plot moves on smoothly and compellingly.


Music in 1853: The Biography of a Year
Music in 1853: The Biography of a Year
by Hugh Macdonald
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 21.55

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing music history alive, 10 Jan 2013
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With a wealth of fascinating photographic material and a nicely balanced mix of anecdote and music history, this intelligent and handsomely turned volume out creates something like a sense of familiarity with Brahms, Schumann and the various musicians and composers active or, like the 19-year-old Brahms, adventurously setting out on the road to fame and acclaim. No technical knowledge is required of the reader; in fact, it makes comfortably enjoyable read.


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